Near Dark (1987)
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Starring Bill Paxton Jenny Wright Lance Henriksen

Seminal vampire film (probably the best the genre has ever seen) was inspired heavily by the novels of Anne Rice and features an atmospheric score by Tangerine Dream. Many, many, many vampire flick—from "Interview with the Vampire" to "Blade"—borrowed from this movie, which helped propel the careers of Bill Paxton (as the particularly sadistic vampire, Severen) and Lance Henriksen (who basically plays himself again, as the vampire leader Jesse).

Jenny Wright (who we last saw as a libidinous groupie in "Pink Floyd's The Wall") is a nice vampire who bites and converts cowboy Adrian Pasdar into a bloodsucker. He joins this roving band of vampires, who move from town to town killing people.

Paxton laughs when shot, but gun battles take on a grim seriousness with these vampires when bullets shoot holes in walls, letting in sunlight. One particularly realistic and chillingly brutal killing spree takes place in a bar. It's very well-directed scene by Bigelow, who never made a better movie than this.

This is the best modern vampire movie, much better than "Interview with the Vampire," and a must-see for any serious splatter movie fan.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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